Nursing Union Begins Investigation Of Labor Practices At CMH
Published: January 8th, 2010
By: Melissa deCordova

Nursing union begins investigation of labor practices at CMH

NORWICH – An investigation has begun into charges of unfair labor practices at Chenango Memorial Hospital.

Service Employees International Union #1199 Organizer Rick Oppedisano said he had filed labor board charges after CMH administrators failed to provide requested information about an emergency room nurse who claimed she was discharged inappropriately.

“We requested info about a discharge and the hospital won’t give it to us, so we filed. We need it to support a possible grievance,” said Oppedisan, whose office is based in Syracuse. He said the nurse was fired in late November for a perceived violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

A hospital spokesman said yesterday that there have been no unusual or out of the norm number of firings or layoffs of nurses at the hospital. He did confirm that one nurse had been terminated over the Thanksgiving holiday and another had resigned since then.

The Evening Sun has been in contact with two CMH nurses who requested to remain anonymous. Both said many long-term and thus higher-salaried emergency room nurses had been fired or laid off over the past two years.

An unnamed nurse said the last two who left were on account of HIPAA violations that she said were “kind of trumped up” and “for the tiniest little things.”

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